Thursday, 23 July 2015

Stepping out of my comfort zone

If you told me a few years ago that I would be here writing a blog after completing a 10k run I would have laughed. Everyone in life regardless of whether there's a label or not behind it has things we struggle with and things we're good at, we all have comfort zones and find ourselves sticking to do things which we know are safe and know we will have no problem at doing.

Growing up being tall, very clumsy, un co-ordinated and having poor balance meant I became very self concious of what my body would be doing. It had a mind of it's own and would appear at the most embarrassing of moments.  Then was the ignorant points or stares as I knocked a shelf of objects over in a supermarket or bumped into other people. It made me self concious when doing any form of exercise, avoid situations where I thought I would have a "dyspraxic moment"and generally feel very anxious and on edge whenever I went, and terribly beat myself up if something didn't go to plan.

Then my boyfriend Matt announced he was wanting to do a 10k for charity, for The Dyspraxia Foundation, after the initial "how on earth would I get round that" talk we sat down and discussed how much it would do for the charity but most importantly raise awareness. 
Before, I would hide so that I wouldn't be judged on my dyspraxia, I would hide so others wouldn't feel uncomfortable or alter their behaviour. On the day of the run I felt very overwhelmed and emotional, but that all changed when my best friend Jess started encouraging me telling me to "think of the cocktails" to having a laugh and chat. We even met two groups of people on the way who wanted to know more about dyspraxia and one had a dyspraxic son. I realised then that the more people are aware of difference the less of a taboo subject it will be.

It has boosted my confidence and has given me a pride and sense of achievement that I’ve never really had before. It's helped make a difference and helped others understand more and on a personal level  It’s helped me truly believe that I’m not defined by dyspraxia/dyslexia/anxiety, I am defined by me, by my individuality, by my determination– I am a whole, not made up of just one but many parts. Stepping out of my comfort zone was one of the hardest things I've ever done and I hope it will give me the confidence to tackle other challenges. We all have different challenges in life, we may not be going through it ourselves but we can all try and see the bigger picture. I can't say enough how much a positive impact positive encouragement can mean. Now with the summer holidays ahead, what are you going to do to step out of your comfort zone? Go for it!!

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